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Norwegians in Silicon Valley

Their Royal Highnesses have been on a five-day official visit to the US. Much of their programme on the final day was focused on Norwegian companies that have recently been established in or near the world’s leading IT hub: Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit started the day with a visit to the software company ForgeRock. Chief Technology Officer Lasse Andresen gave a synopsis of the company’s three-year history, and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess had the opportunity to meet Chief Executive Officer Mike Ellis and other employees at the San Francisco office as well.

Founded in Oslo in 2010, ForgeRock moved its headquarters to San Francisco to be close to the market and the talent as well as to its partners. Today the company has about 100 employees worldwide, with 50 working in the US. Although ForgeRock’s identity technology was originally developed by Sun Microsystems, the company has further developed and refined the technology, which it now delivers to major customers around the world.

Visited Silicon Valley

Later in the day, Crown Prince Haakon spoke at a lunch meeting at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Silicon Valley, drawing attention to the many Norwegian high-tech companies that are now found in that part of California:

"Some of the Norwegian start-ups located in California may not yet be on your radar – but I am sure they will be. Today, we will get a taste of what some of these innovators and entrepreneurs have to offer. They have developed unique technology. They may still be small in scale, but they are large in terms of creativity and competence."

Entrepreneurs presented themselves

After a brief introduction by Ms Anne Worsøe of Innovation Norway, nine Norwegian up-and-coming entrepreneurs presented their activities to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess - as well as to American investors present: The nine were Bipper, Elliptic Labs, We Want To Know, Changetech, AIMS Innovation, Highsoft Solutions, Listnerd, Making View and Shippingcluster.

Silicon Valley is located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in the state of California, and is renowned for its high concentration of innovative high-tech companies. Crown Prince Haakon officially opened Innovation Norway’s Innovation House Silicon Valley in Palo Alto in October 2011. Innovation House provides office space for Norwegian businesses that are seeking to launch activities in the region.

New centre at UC Berkeley bears name of Norwegian

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit concluded their official visit to the US at the University of California at Berkeley, where the Crown Prince studied political science from 1996 to 1999.

The Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study was opened at UC Berkeley on 25 October 2012. The centre bears the name of Norwegian immigrant Peder Sæther, one of the earliest trustees of the prestigious university, which was founded in 1868.

Research and education collaboration

The Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study is a research and educational collaboration between UC Berkeley, eight Norwegian higher education institutions and the Research Council of Norway. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were welcomed to the centre by Mr John McKee, Dean of Development and College Relations at the College of Letters and Science, UC Berkeley. Dean McKee has played a pivotal role in the efforts in the US to open the centre.

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